NETROOTS NATION….Remember how last year I promised I was finally going to attend YearlyKos in 2008? Well, they changed the name to Netroots Nation, but I’m going anyway. Me and my new MacBook, that is, which will be helping me blog the festivities in real time.

The convention is being held July 17-20 in Austin this year, and you can see the good news on the right: by the time the convention opens on Thursday the south central Texas temps will have plummeted into the low hundreds. However, we’ll all be inside the air-conditioned convention center anyway, where you can attend the many fine panels on offer — including two that I’m on:

  • Friday, July 18th, 9:00 am, Ballroom F: “Different Tones and Wider Nets.” Or, as I prefer to think of it, “The Fuck Panel.” The subject is blogo-shrillness, and my fellow foul-mouthed panelists will be Jesse Taylor, Amanda Marcotte, Lee Papa, Duncan Black (Atrios), and Digby. I plan to argue that, whatever you think of the blogosphere, the MSM isn’t foul enough.

  • Saturday, July 19th 10:30 am, Ballroom E: “Hot Topic Panel.” I’m not entirely sure what this one is about, but I think it’s mainly an excuse to chat about whatever news pops up late enough that there wasn’t time to set up a formal session dedicated to it. My fellow hot panelists will be Jeffrey Feldman, Baratunde Thurston, Michael Lazzaro (“Hunter” of Daily Kos), and Pam Spaulding.

Also, Texas heat notwithstanding, I still plan to eat at least a couple of meals in Lockhart, the barbecue capital of the world. (Or so they claim.) There are several places there worth trying, and anyone who wants to make the trek down with me is welcome to join. It’s about a 30-minute drive from Austin.

If big slabs of barbecued meat aren’t your thing, I understand. But if you’re coming to Austin, be sure to look me up regardless. I’ll be there for the entire convention and I’m looking forward to meeting lots of people in the flesh for the first time. The convention home page is here if you need more info.